12 things we’ve learnt in 2014

What screams of the year 2014 more than a pointless list? Alex Cooke obliges.

1. We dodged a pretty big bullet with Jed/Ged
Even if Lee Power turns out to be the reincarnation of Charles Manson and turns out to like such outré things as white Zinfandel and Brutalist architecture, he still be better than what could have happened under Jed/Ged. Just look at poor old Hereford under the stewardships of his acolytes and bfs.

2. Andy Williams just wants to be loved
Paolo Di Canio once publicly dammed Williams with faint praise saying he was better than six-yard sorcerer Darren Bent, but only outside the box. He also seems to have said worse in private.

Turns out what Williams needed was a hug and a bit of confidence from Mark Cooper. That nd lots of coaching from Luke Williams on heading deflected crosses and finishing. He still can’t score from a direct set-piece though.

3. Swindon fans can love tiki taka
For the first half of 2014, possession football remained a dirty word at the County Ground, like crevice, prong or danglehose. Back then, it meant slow u-shaped passing across the back four to the wing and back again. Now it means quick forward movement through the centre, leaving people embarrassed to even say the f-word (forward) in case people think they want us to hoof it.

4. Louis Thompson still needs to work on his shooting
He’s probably been the story of the last 12 months, developing from a rough, tough kid into a player of great tactical discipline, control, physical ability and boundless energy. He’s scored some vital goals but they do need to come to him inside the box, such as against Sheffield United.

5. Lee Power can negotiate a deal
From buying Michael Smith to selling Louis Thompsonand and keeping him, Power seems to know how to get some pretty good deals. His player negotiations in this time have created a squad which is talented, young and emimently sellable. His only weakness seems to be in getting all of the paperwork in exactly the right order – see point 1.

6. Three at the back isn’t too hard for League One after all
When Jack Stephens first arrived at the club for the Bristol City game, three at the back was still seen as dangerous foreign import, like Brie and personal hygiene. Now it seem that everyone is doing it, not just Roberto Martinez.

7. The club don’t ‘do’ PR
Unpaid police bills, non-working PA systems, court dates and council arguments – all seem to run and run in the press without anyone to delay or naysay them. Instead they swirled in the vacuum even when they had little weight.

When they want some good PR, or even a basic marketing drive, they have to get the Trust, or others, to do it for them. Even on social media, we get the absolute minimum amount of interaction and extras.

It is mostly a short-staffing issue but there is a problem higher up. Clearly Power and Cooper don’t like doing it, but someone should. Someone such as General Manager Steve Anderson. Whoever he is.

8. Back passes still scare people
In Wes Foderingham we have a ‘keeper as brilliant with his feet as he is with his hands, but pretty much every pass which goes back to him, someone groans or inhales loudly.

9. TrustSTFC can achieve a lot
Getting thousands of kids through the gate and getting an ACV set up to protect the County Ground; yes the Trust can really get stuff done. And they have managed to get a huge membership, for a year. It just would be interesting to know what the plan is in having so many members? And why for just one year?

10. Things still keep coming out of the woodwork
The club seems more stable than in a long time, one man hold 97% of the capital but still odd things keep happening. Remember Harry Agombar and Tijane Reis? What about the unpaid bills and court dates? And the debt from 1957? Si , when is the next one coming? And what will it be?

11. The FA Cup remains Mark Cooper’s Achilles Heel
The horrible defeat at Macclesfield could have been a one-off. Then we had Cheltenham, which was possibly even worse. 5-nil to a team below Oxford in the table and in the middle of a run of thumping defeats.

11 1/2. Cheltenham
Bloody Cheltenham. Always bloody Cheltenham.

12. The modern media
Lists like this are the bane of our modern existence. Well, that and the hyperbole they contain. But, really with two new online media outlets, one print and one broadcast in the town, have we actually leant anything? Let alone five things. Tell us in the comment box below. Your comments are so important to us.

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